Drug Driving Lawyers Melbourne
Do you need a drug driving offence lawyer in Melbourne?
Drug driving offences in Victoria are extremely serious, and carry heavy mandatory penalties including fines, loss of licence, and even jail time in severe cases. If you have been charged with drug driving, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible.
Organising a time to speak with an experienced criminal lawyer will help you navigate your legal proceedings that follow and ensure the best possible outcome for you.
Be Backed By Expert Legal Representation for Drug Driving Offences
Anthony Isaacs Lawyers are experienced criminal defence lawyers who have successfully defended clients charged with drug driving. We understand the complex legal issues involved in these cases and can provide expert advice and representation to give you the best chance of a favourable outcome.
The Victorian government takes drug driving offences incredibly seriously. When it comes to defending your case, ensuring that you have expert legal representation that can inform you of your options and rights, is crucial.
Our qualified and experienced lawyers can help you to understand the charges against you, the legal process, and your rights. We can also help you to build a strong defence and negotiate with the prosecution.
What is drug driving?
Drug driving is driving under the influence of illicit drugs, or having an illicit drug in your system whilst driving a motor vehicle which is present in your blood, urine or saliva. It is an offence against section 49 of the Road Safety Act to be under the influence of illicit drugs or prescription drugs that impede a person’s ability to drive cautiously.
How do the police charge drug offences?
When assessing your level of impairment, Victorian police will perform an impairment test. This test’s purpose is not to determine the precise amount of drugs in your system at the time, but instead to understand the physical effects that the drugs were having on your ability to control the vehicle.
If it is believed that your behaviour or appearance has been affected by a drug other than alcohol, then police can require you to accompany them to the station or another location for a further assessment. Section 55D(1) states that a person will be found guilty if they refuse to undergo assessment of drug impairment against s49(1)(ca).
Across Victoria, there has been a push to ensure drug driving offences are significantly reduced, and police now use devices for drug testing on the roads. Typically these devices will pick up the presence of drugs such as Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, Methamphetamine found in speed and ice, as well as MDMA. Police have a right to request a sample of saliva if suspecting the influence of drugs.
Upon failing to pass a drug test, the driver will be required to provide an additional saliva sample. A blood sample may be requested if a saliva sample is not sufficient. Under section 55, a person will be found guilty against s49(1)(eb) if they refuse to comply with a request for an oral sample. Typically from here a driver will be fined and required to appear in court, as well as potentially having a licence suspended.
Common drug driving penalties when failing a roadside drug test
In Victoria, the consequences around drug driving and failing a roadside drug test are serious.
First time drug driving offence
Generally, if it’s a first time offence, the penalties are severe in penalty units, including a cancellation or suspension of drivers licence for 6 months and completion of a drug driver program.
Second time drug driving offence
If you have a second offence of failing a roadside saliva test, the penalties are greater and includes cancellation of your drivers’ licence for up to 12 months.
Common drug driving related offences resulting in licence suspension
Victoria Police can suspend your drivers’ licence immediately if you are charged with any of the following:
- Refusal offence – not willing to provide oral fluid, drug impairment, blood or urine tests. Under s49(1)(EB)
- Combined drug and alcohol offence – this is the result of a high alcohol reading which has been impaired by a drug
- Committing a second drug or drink driving offence within the last 10 years
It is important to note that whilst these offences are categorised as an ‘immediate suspension’ even though they may not be enforced immediately. In some cases, suspensions can take up to 12 months to action. The suspension can also last up to the date in the suspension notice or until your case has been heard in the Magistrates’ Court.
What are the similarities between drug driving and drink driving?
Drug driving offences are some of the most serious driving offences. The main difference between a charge of drug driving and a charge of drink driving is the level of impairment. Both offences can result in hefty fines, suspension or cancellation of your licence, or in some cases, a term of imprisonment.
If you have been charged with a drink or drug driving offence you must also complete a behavioural change program before you are then eligible to reapply for your licence. However, in some cases if you are a repeat offender then the penalties become greater, and so do the conditions in which you can reapply for a driving licence.
Why Choose Anthony Isaacs Criminal Lawyers?
Experience – Our experience in criminal defence is unparalleled to none. With over 40+ years experience in drug driving offences, we know how to best navigate to a successful outcome.
Outstanding Service – Our service goes further than one day in Court. We aim to clearly communicate the process, options and answer all concerns from our clients. We put our clients first in a reliable and honest professional relationship.
Value – Investing in legal services can be an unforeseen expense. Where possible, we charge lump sum fees so there are no surprises.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I lose my licence if I was caught drug driving?
Yes. Anyone charged with a drug driving offence will have their licence suspended for a minimum of 6 months. The length of time however, depends on the offence, and circumstances.
What happens if I refuse to take a roadside drug test?
Whilst you can refuse to take a roadside drug test, the consequences of not complying with police, can often be far more severe than failing a drug test. In Victoria, a first offender could receive a maximum fine to the value of 12 demerit points and a licence suspension for a 2 year period.
Can I apply for a work only licence?
Despite popular belief, there is no such thing in Victoria as a ‘work only’ licence. Anyone found guilty of drug driving will have their licence cancelled.
Even with the best reasons in the world, the Court has no power to make exceptions so that people can continue driving for special purposes. The laws impose mandatory licence loss.
I’ve been charged with drug driving. What should I do next?
If you have been charged with a drug driving offence it is important to consult with a legal professional as soon as possible. They will be able to help you understand the appropriate action to take next for your traffic offence charge.
What is the difference between a suspended and cancelled licence?
- Suspended Licence – The Court will specify an amount of time for which you cannot drive. Once this time has elapsed, your licence becomes valid again.
- Cancelled Licence – The Court will specify an amount of time for which you cannot drive. Once this time has elapsed, and any required conditions have been met, you must reapply for your licence through VicRoads and likely attend a Court hearing.
Looking for help with a drug driving charge? The next step awaits you
Drug driving offences should not be taken lightly, they have the potential to uproot a person’s career, livelihood and reputation. The team at Anthony Isaacs Lawyers are ready to provide an honest and confidential free consultation to assess your case. Our team has the knowledge and expert experience to navigate through these types of offences, leaving clients with the best outcome.
Call the team at Anthony Isaacs today on 03 90347351
Contact Anthony Isaacs Today For Trusted Legal Representation
Our experienced team at Anthony Isaacs are here to help you with sound and trusted legal advice and representation. Simply call our team on 03 9034 7351.